12.09.10

Vermont Delegation Announces Additional Rail Funding

Delegation Pledges to Continue Fighting for Western Corridor

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 – Vermont’s congressional delegation announced Thursday that the state will receive $2.7 million in additional Recovery Act funding for the “Vermonter” rail line, which runs from St. Albans to Vernon.

The announcement comes after the delegation last week urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to reallocate unused High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funds to Vermont’s Western Corridor project, which runs from Rutland to Burlington. The additional funding became available after the incoming governors of Ohio and Wisconsin decided to forgo the money awarded to their states.

The Department of Transportation explained on Friday that no new projects – such as the Western Corridor proposal – would be funded with the reallocated money. Instead, projects like the Vermonter line, which received $50 million of the $52.7 million it originally requested, would be fully funded.

“We welcome this additional investment in Vermont’s growing network of high-speed rail lines. Our state is always ready, willing and able to put these funds to good use,” Sen. Leahy, Sen. Sanders and Rep. Welch said. “At the same time, we are highly disappointed that the Western Corridor project did not receive the funding it deserves. We will continue our efforts to fight for this project, which has the strong support of state officials, the business community and the towns and cities along the Western Corridor.”

Fourteen states in addition to Vermont received portions of the $1.2 billion in funding diverted from the Ohio and Wisconsin projects Thursday.

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